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Houston Maritime Museum
Harris County
News Release
Thursday, February 23, 2012


Houston Texas - With a colorful and festive ambiance and décor, last Friday AVANCE celebrated “A Night in Rio,” a Brazilian inspired gala honoring Service King Collision Repair Centers and an exemplary Houston family.

Held at the Hilton Post Oak, the event was emceed by Fox 26 Traffic Authority Michelle Merhar, friend and supporter of AVANCE. Highlights included a samba performance, casino, dancing to live music by Mango Punch, silent auction, awards presentation and much more.

Service King President, Chris Abraham and Shyllo De La Cruz-Houston Region Manager were presented with the “Unlocking America’s Potential” award in recognition of the company’s commitment and continued support of the AVANCE mission.

In addition, Julio Medina and Iris Suarez were presented with the “Roy Barbosa” award for their hard work and dedication in ensuring a successful future for their family by participating in AVANCE programs since 2006, and applying gained knowledge to strengthen and guide their family.

“We want our families to reach new heights—and the Medina-Suarez family is a great example of what generous supporters like Service King enable us to do” said Jose Villarreal, AVANCE Executive Director.

Other special guest in the event included: Rice University Professor Dr. Stephen Klineberg, Consul General of Mexico Dr. Jose Luis Malpica y de la Madrid, President of the East End Chamber of Commerce Frances Castañeda, Reverend Tony Villatoro from Glorious Grace Church and others. 

All funds raised in this celebration will help AVANCE families continue to succeed through the unique holistic approach of our signature Parent-Child Program. 

Event sponsors include: CHEVRON, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Challenge Office Products, CenterPoint Energy, Greenberg Traurig, American Airlines, HCC, CHOICE! Energy, Longevity Realty Partners, Community Health Choice and more.

AVANCE mission: Unlocking America’s potential to strengthen families in at-risk communities through effective parenting education & support programs.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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